The Tour of Or(egon) Commences

The Updates I make from here on out will be on top and timestamped. You’ll be able to see the natural progression as the next few days unfold. I’ll be adding pictures and such along the way as well! w00t!

Updated: 6/4/2013 – 10:40apm PST

Today was an awesome. Seriously awesome. The meeting at Smartwaiver went as awesome as anyone could hope for in my situation. But one thing that was absolutely awesome, was the fact that I had multiple walks included. Just to give you an idea of how beautiful the area is, here are some shots I took today. For the most part, the events of today can’t really be talked about yet… but soon. Here be the pictures!

Sample of Architecture
Here is a sample of Architecture in Bend.
Downtown before business gets going
Downtown before business gets going. Seems SO quiet.
World's Best Mocha
This is where I stopped for the Worlds BEST Mocha. Best. Ever.
Proof
PROOF!!!!!!
This is a hotel.
Yep, This is a hotel.
Park Walking
Part of my walk! How awesome is this view?
More from my walk
More shots from my walk. Again, awesome, right?
Shot of the Old Mill District
Shot of the Old Mill District
Cafe Yumm
This is where I had lunch! Cafe Yumm
Lunch
And lastly, what I HAD for lunch! Turkey Reuben. So delicious.

Updated: 6/4/2013 – 7:30am PST

I have arrived. The flight to Portland was pretty non eventful save for the fact that we had watched Oz The Great and Powerful which technically could be called “Floppy, Dough People” because that’s about as good as the CGI work looked. Landing in Portland though, I was ready to battle Alamo for the price of my ticket when lo and behold, no one is manning their counter. According to the Thrifty representative, it’s been like that all day. Luckily for me, (and for Thrifty), Thrifty had what I wanted for WAY less money. Apparently Alamo had been missing all morning and was losing a lot of walk in business. I highly recommend Thrifty if you’re ever in Portland. They handled everything so smooth.

The drive from Portland to Bend was stunning. Driving through Mount Hood, going through many Native settlements and driving through the flat, desert areas made the 3 and a half hour drive seem like it was nothing at all. I’ve included some shots on this update so you can see what I’m talking about. Once in town, I have to say, it just feels like “home”. And the people are SO nice. Oh, another thing. I ate at Deschutes Brewery last night. Hands down, the best BBQ Chicken burger I’ve ever eaten in my LIFE. MAJOR props to them. I’m getting ready for my day at the Smartwaiver office and will update tonight how things went! And now: Pictures!!!

Boring, Oregon
The Convention and Visitors Bureau for this town has an uphill battle.
Beautiful Mountain in the distance
Beautiful Mountain in the distance
Flowing water
This was WAY louder than I expected it to be
More mountains in the distance
More mountains in the distance
20130603_152808
Beautiful
The most scenic drive I've ever been on
The most scenic drive I’ve ever been on
Deschutes Brewery
Deschutes Brewery – A LOT bigger than this picture lets on
Deschutes Brewery
Another shot inside Deschutes Brewery
Target Parking Lot
Even sunset from the Target Parking lot is beautiful.

Updated: 6/3/2013 – 7:06am CST

Sitting at C terminal gate 24 in Houston, a United Express employee is discussing things ranging from the NBA to how Technology is the New World Order, Star Trek and days gone by. he also thinks Zoe Saldana is really really hot. Nice guy, though so… yay for friendly peeps. There are a few things that I’ve learned about Houston’s Airport though:

  • Houston’s Mayor is a GoBot
  • Their radio station REALLY likes Sugarland. Like.. A LOT!
  • They like keeping their airport the temperature of Dry Ice overnight.
  • After 1:30 am, all of the comfy seats/couches are occupied.
  • There are still active pay phones available.
  • Airport Employees that drive those extended golf carts sometimes sleep next to them overnight.
  • TSA has big team meetings at 4 AM. Go TEAM!
  • Trivago.com has a spokesman that looks like Future James Vanderbeek if Dawson’s Creek had only lasted one season.
  • Mario Diaz, Director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation, wears ill fitted suits and is really uncomfortable around a camera apparently.

Well it looks like we’ll be boarding shortly after the plane gets here. I have an upgraded “extra foot room” seat. Ready to disembark! Let’s get this last part over! Will update once I get to Portland where the Battle at the Alamo begins! Here are some new pictures:

CamdenFoodco Was My Breakfast
Egg White and Turkey Sausage Sandwich for Breakfast. Yum!
SpaceTrader
This is the greatest store in any airport of all time! SpaceTrader!
My View
My view while sipping coffee after a night in Houston

 

Updated: 6/3/2013 – 4:06am CST

This was me after I landed last night:

I’m sitting in a coin operated massage chair. I’ve been in this seat for about 4 hours now. This is where I slept after getting into Houston. That’s right kids. Zuki’s in Houston, Texas. And I can see why that dude leaves his ex’s here (well, atleast in the airport) because it BLOWS. Well, I take that back. The Airport isn’t THAT bad but the situation doesn’t have me doing cartwheels. It’s not the Airport, nor United’s fault either for that matter. Weather prevented us from getting to our destination on time. But I have some good good news! First, my flight out of Columbia was pretty funny. There ended up being only 13 of us on the jet. And it was almost 12 because “Dr.” Susy McEight Cocktails almost got herself kicked off the plane. She found out about the delays around the same time we all did (2pm) and had been slamming down a pink alcoholic beverage from that time on until we were about 30 minutes away from boarding. She came THIS close (I’m squinting my fingers together for added affect. Just imagine it) to getting thrown off the plane for complaining loudly. They even brought the steps back to the plane. Mess with the Bull, Doc. Mess with the Bull.

Tom Hanks in The Terminal
I’m not Tom Hanks, but I’m pretty sure this is what I looked like.

So after a beautiful night flight (our pilot had to have been Hal Jordan because he was slightly cocky but with good reason because he landed that plane like it had butter wheels. Wait… that’s not practical. Never mind), we make it into Houston at Midnight CST. The first thing I notice at the customer service desk is the tired look on two of the Customer Service Reps still working. Meet Julie and Sam who are like two characters out of buddy cop movie that’s there simply to help the hero along with some comical banter. I pop over just to ask if they could help me out getting to Los Angeles earlier as I see there’s a 7:30am flight instead of the 10:30 one I’m scheduled for. And what does Julie do? She says “Oh forget Los Angeles, I’m getting you directly to Portland”. What? No way… I was told it was impossible. But lo and behold, 6 minutes later she’s printing me a ticket from Houston to Portland direct with Sam cheering her on because he’s amazed at how awesome she is. To add some cherry sauce to the top, she hooks me up with a meal voucher for the morning for a free Continental Breakfast (that would have been SO much funnier if Continental was still an active Airline). Unfortunately she could not hook me up with a hotel voucher but hey, it’s all good (I said it was cherry sauce, not an actual cherry).

So after wandering Terminal A for about 15 minutes looking for the spot where I would turn into an Airport Hobo, I settle on this Massage Chair, thinking that it’s going to be comfortable. OPPOSITE DAY! The plane seat was better suited for sleeping. I just wanted to give you guys an update. needed to charge my phone a bit so I could tether and get this post in. I’m going to go head over to my terminal with my new golden ticket like I’m friggen Charlie and get myself some breakfast!

Now Alamo, tell me that you have a Julie and Sam working this morning so I can get this car rental handled and we’ll be set. I’ll pop on after breakfast and update a bit more. Here are some shots from last night:

We queued SO much yesterday... You'd think us British.
We queued SO much yesterday… You’d think us British.
I felt like I was in the Langoliers...
I felt like I was in the Langoliers…
Old Pay Phone at the George Bush Airport
WELCOME, To Jurassic Park!
Now that's just impractical. Houston, you're weird.
Now that’s just impractical. Houston, you’re weird.

Updated: 6/2/2013 – 8:35pm EST

alamo-rentacarREMEMBER THE ALAMO!!!

Being that I’m having to spend the night in Houston, I decided it’d be a good idea to call the rental company and rearrange my car rental pickup. My original quoted rate was $377 for 6 days (Sunday – Friday). This is how the exchange went:

Me: I needed to change it to Monday – Friday.

Alamo CSR: No problem, sir. The new rate is $490. Would you like me to set that now?

Me: Um. What? How did this change from $377 to $490 for one less day?

Alamo CSR: Sir, you were originally quoted with our weekly rate which is cheaper than the daily. Being that you are now less 1 day, it is now the $490 rate.

Me: But… Sunday – Friday doesn’t equal a week. But it’s still the weekly rate?

Alamo CSR: Yes sir. That is correct.

Me: Okay, what if I push it a day and book the car for return on Saturday, making it the weekly rate again?

Alamo CSR: Okay sir, one moment. Okay, yes. This is now $491. Would you like to reserve this now?

Me: Wait. So, the weekly rate is now $491. More expensive than the short term rate.

Alamo CSR: That is correct sir, yes.

Me: Annnnd you lost me. Thank you. Cancel and I’ll find something else.

So, kids. This means that, your original weekly rate with Alamo will be $100+ cheaper than your short term rental rate. If you cancel and then ask to boost it back up, it will then magically be more expensive than the original weekly rate. Good thing I’ll be in Houston for a bit. I’ve got some phone calls to make.

Just heard on the P.A. that my plane is about 45 minutes out. Leaving this airport soon!

Updated: 6/2/2013 – 7:01pm EST

Okay, I was just informed that our flight has been further delayed. Looks like we’re not getting out of here until 9:15pm. Which means I’m going to be spending the night in Houston Airport. Anyone in the Texas area want to come chill in an airport? Think the TSA would want to stay up and play Monopoly? Here’s where it gets fun though. I’m flying out of Houston at 10:30am on my way to Los Angeles. I had no idea I’d be California bound. That’s cool though.. I can manage. 4 hour layover there, Bingo Bango Bongo and I’m in Portland at 6:30pm. Missing my Monday meeting and I’ll see if they are okay with me pushing it to Tuesday. All in all, I’m having dinner and will see whether or not United will give me a hotel voucher once I land. Here are some pictures from the last 2 hours.

Lining up for United Airlines
The line that took 2 hours to progress in.
To Portland we go by way of Los Angeles
I’m Going Back To Cali, to Cali, to Cali!

 

Updated: 6/2/2013 – 4:17pm EST

So I have created this page to give regular updates on my travels and time in Bend, Oregon. That is, if I actually get there. I booked my flights with Priceline and got a friggen steal. But weather has thwarted my oh so smartypants plans. I’m currently sitting in Columbia Metro Airport not taxing the runway about to take off in 3 minutes like I’m supposed to because of a weather delay getting our pilots here. I was supposed to get into Portland at 9pm tonight and, fingers crossed, if all goes well, I’ll be getting in at 11:30pm instead. Here’s what I just posted to Facebook:

So I may be stuck at Houston Airport overnight. The crew of my originally scheduled 4:20 flight is delayed because of weather. Here’s the thing. I won’t be flying out until 5:50, getting me to Houston until 7:40 (after my original connection flight). The NEXT flight to Portland is full and I’m set as a standby. If it’s too full for me to get on, then I stay overnight in Houston and I’m on standby for the morning flight (which is ALSO full). The afternoon flight to Portland should be open enough so. We’ll see exactly what is going on. Zuki’s Hungry!

Columbia Metropolitan Airport Delayed Passengers

So now the question is, what do I do for all of these hours? I need to contact the car rental place and tell them of my delay, probably the same to the hotel as I’m not going to be charged an extra day just because (on either). Oh, here’s another observation:

Airport Restaurants Are Bloody Expensive

 

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Comments

  1. Sorry for your nightmare Langoliers sleepover. You haven’t started tearing paper have you? LOL. I love how you make lemonade my friend. Hope things are going smoother for you this morning. ~Ro

  2. The ride does look peaceful, but seriously . . . Oregon has a city named “Boring?” The leaders there have probably done everything possible to make sure the place is nothing like its name.

    Your café mocha has my attention, too!

    1. Thanks Aunt Mel! That mocha was the business! LOVED it. So yum. And I thought the same thing about “Boring”. I’d hate to have to work in the marketing department.

  3. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a good article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

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